Fiery Harissa Paste


fiery harissa paste

Fiery Harissa Paste
makes about 2 cups

Chillies can vary enormously in their intensity which makes cooking with them a big moving target.

I tend to use less chillies and keep the seeds in because it’s quicker and I like the heat. Feel free to deseed if you prefer a milder harissa. Or increase the chilli count if you are more dare-devilish.

1 jar roasted red peppers (450g / 16oz), drained
10 small red chillies,
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
4 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Place peppers, chilli, paprika, caraway seeds and lemon juice in a food processor. Whizz until you have a smooth-ish paste.

2. Stir through 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Taste and season.

Shelf Life

Will keep for a month or so in the fridge. OK for a few days out of the fridge if you need to post or transport your gift somewhere.


home cooked peppers – grill, cool and peel red peppers yourself if you can’t find jarred ones or prefer to do things from scratch.

Problem Solving Guide

too hot – add more olive oil to balance it out.

bland – add more chillies and season.

don’t have a food processor?
– just finely chop everything toghether by hand. The mixture will be more chunky and rustic but still absolutely delicious.

can’t find smoked paprika? – just skip it or try regular paprika.

Packaging Suggestions

Needs an air tight container. I like glass jars.

Ingredients List

red peppers (capsicum), chilli, lemon, carraway seeds, paprika

Serving Suggestions

as a sauce – serve (sparingly) straight from the jar with roast veg, roast chicken or grilled halloumi. Pretty much works anywhere you’d normally use a chilli sauce.

as a marinade – mix with a little olive oil and rub over tofu, chicken or meat before roasting , grilling or BBQing. Serve with extra harissa on the side.

in soups – either stir through to add spice and heat or serve as a dollup on top – a more exotic alternative to pesto

salad dressing – combine with equal parts lemon juice and olive oil for a potato salad dressing with a kick


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Alice Young March 7, 2019

There is a restaurant I sometimes go to that uses a green harissa. It is absolutely YUMMY!
Red quinoa, broccoli, sweet corn & tomato, glazed chickpeas, pickled red onions, marinated zucchini, harissa & greek yogurt drizzle
The contents change some with each season, but I am after copying it, but I enjoy the Green Harissa so much, I would truly like to be able to re-create that.
Thanks – I enjoy your site and missives so much! And welcome to America!


jules March 8, 2019

Ooh the green harissa sounds right up my alley Alice! Thanks for the idea 🙂

As a start I’d just use green bell peppers and green chillies in this recipe

Let me know how you get on!

And so glad you’re enjoying Stonesoup

It’s great to be in America! My last trip was in 2011 and it’s been way too long!



Trudy June 15, 2012

Hi Jules,
I have not been able to find those long red chiles. (I think mid summer or later they’ll begin appearing at Union Sq) Are they very hot? What can I sub? And what about reconstituting dried red chile peppers? I’m tempted to do that as I have a jar full of them (arbrol chiles). Any ideas what the difference in flavor will be dried vs fresh chile peppers? In Paula Wolfert’s Couscous, her harissa is very simple — using the dried chiles only — with garlic.


jules June 18, 2012

Hey Trudy
They have some heat but not super hot.
Definitely soak some dried chillies and use them.. the flavour will be more ‘cooked’ and smoky and probably even nicer than the fresh!
The other option would be to use a few small fresh red chillies instead.
I love Paula Wolfert.. she’s really wonderful!
Can’t believe it’s been over a year since I went to the Union Sq markets


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